Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. How do I create a Rail Europe account?
A. You can simply click the ’Login’ button found on the top right-hand side of our homepage and select ’create an account’ to register on our site. If you are booking with us, you will also be presented with the option to register during checkout.
Q. I have my train ticket. Do I also need to buy a reservation?
A. Rail Europe train tickets usually include a reservation whenever possible. In other words, if you’re taking a train that requires a reservation, one will already be included with your train ticket from us. If you’re boarding a train that offers reservations but doesn’t require them, tickets sold on our website will include one, if available, at the time of booking.
For certain trains that offer reservations but don’t require them, it is possible that we do not include a seat reservation with your train ticket. This may happen when we don’t have access to those reservations, which can only be purchased locally. Rest assured that even if this is the case, your Rail Europe train ticket will still allow you to board and sit at any unoccupied seat.
Q. Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants?
A. You will need to book a rail pass for each adult and child. In the case of a saver pass, it’s one rail pass with each traveller’s name listed on the pass. Some rail passes offer free child discounts, the children need to be added to the rail pass at the time of booking, there will be no charge incurred for them, however. While a child under 4 years of age and sharing a seat with an adult does not need to book a rail pass. If the child will occupy his/her own seat, a rail pass must be purchased for them, as well as a reservation when needed.
Q. If I bought my rail pass from another company, can I still book my seat reservations through Rail Europe?
A. Yes. You can book your reservation with Rail Europe regardless of where you purchased your rail pass.
Q. I need to cancel my trip to Europe. How do I request reimbursement through the Rail Protection Plan™?
A. Although the Rail Protection Plan™ doesn’t allow you to get reimbursed in case your trip is cancelled, you may be eligible to receive an in-store credit. That in-store credit will be good for two years (from the date the credit is issued) towards your next booking, for the full value of the products covered. You can choose to receive this credit toward a future booking or to request to have your tickets refunded per the after sales policies of the products booked.
If you choose to forego the in-store credit and opt for a refund, the regular exchange and refund rules of your products will apply, and you will be subject to the regular carriers penalties, if applicable, in addition to the Rail Europe booking fee.
Q. What happens if I don’t fill out my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Those who travel with a rail pass in which the travel date is not filled in the travel calendar box risk payment of a full fare ticket and a fine.
Q. Do I need to buy a reservation if I already have a rail pass? How do I book one?
A. If you plan to travel on a high speed, scenic, or overnight train, you will need a reservation as many of these types of trains require them - even if you have a rail pass. Seat reservations guarantee you a seat on the train you wish to travel on. While additional fees apply, many trains offer reduced fares to passholders. When you reserve your train, be sure to check the box that states "I have a rail pass", this will allow our system to find the best fare possible for your journey.
Q. What’s the difference between a seat reservation and a train ticket?
A. A train ticket is a travel document that allows you to board a train for a journey, but does not necessarily guarantee an accommodation (seat/sleeper) assigned to you on board. A reservation guarantees you a specific accommodation on a specific train.
In many cases, train tickets are issued as combined ticket and reservation: you receive one travel document that indicates the specific train and seat assignment. This is the case for most high speed trains such as Eurostar, Thalys and TGV, as well as for night trains.
In some other cases, you may receive a train ticket and a separate travel document for your reservation.
By itself, a reservation can never be used to board a train. It must be used in conjunction with an open train ticket, as we’ve just described, or with a rail pass.
Q. I selected a train ticket, but when I placed my booking the price changed. Why? Can the previously quoted price be honored?
A. For most trains, the price quoted is based on live availability from current seat inventories. However, for some trains, we cannot check fare availability at the time of quote due to technical limitations of the international rail distribution system. Therefore, we use a cached price to build your quote, based on generally available fares for the trip you requested.
While rare, sometimes, we find out that the fare used for quoting your trip is no longer available as we’re trying to confirm your reservation. This is when the system gives us the new price based on that very moment’s availability. This explains why you may receive a message advising you that the price has changed from the original quote.
Q. Are European trains "child friendly"?
A. Many European trains have baby changing facilities and/or family friendly play areas.
Intercités trains in France, some InterCity Swiss trains, InterCity Finnish trains and ICE trains in Germany offer play areas or dedicated compartments for families with children. The Austrian RailJet is even equipped with a movie theater especially for children.
Please note: If traveling on Eurostar, you should not travel in Premier class with children. This area is dedicated to and caters primarily to business travellers.